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Tom Brady’s Commercial Appeal Damaged By Deflategate, Expert Says
Tom Brady’s marketability has been badly hurt by his recent four-game suspension despite it being overturned last week, says an expert.
“Companies are going to take a pass on him. There are a lot of people to choose from so, in case of doubt, they don’t want to be involved,” said Ken Ungar, founder and president of U/S Sports Advisors.
Ungar added that because the NFL is appealing judge Richard Berman’s ruling, the Deflategate story, which began in January, will continue to be in the news for quite some time. “It’s going to continue to follow him. The damage is done,” Ungar explained.
There have also been rumors the stress has caused a rift between Brady and his model wife Gisele Bundchen. But Brady has denied the reports. “It’s pretty amazing – this was the All-American boy who could do no wrong and, now unless you are a Patriots’ fan, the perception of him isn’t positive,” said Ungar.
The controversy didn’t seem to affect Brady’s play on the field as he threw four touchdown passes in the Pats’ opening-night win over the Steelers. “If he were a normal person, it would be quite different,” Ungar said. “But he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He’s got incredible focus so it will have little, if any, impact. The real impact will be off the field.”
Berman’s ruling figures to have implications for every sports league in Ungar’s view. “Every decision can now be appealed. It’s in everyone’s interests to settle it now. Otherwise, there’s going to be a lot of interference in how leagues regulate themselves. Every other sports league will support the NFL.” If the NFL loses its appeal, it’s possible the case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
As for the effect on the NFL brand and commissioner Roger Goodell, Ungar thinks it will be minimal. “The NFL is having unparalleled success and is making so much money so I would be really surprised if the owners dropped Roger Goodell.”